Over The Counter Items You May Not have Thought Of For Your Preps

Over The Counter Items You May Not have Thought Of For Your Preps

In a SHTF situation we may not be able to take a trip to the store for supplies. We will be at the mercy of what is available to us and in the event of medical needs, it’s best to have a good stockpile of over the counter supplies so you can be ready for anything. You can get a great stockpile of over the counter meds in bulk, online or in small batches at the dollar store, as your budget allows. Please know that even though some items are listed by brand name, Generics are absolutely fine and will save you a lot of money…it did for us.

If you have children, keep in mind that many over-the-counter medicines are available in children’s dosages. Keep your kids in mind when shopping because it’s not like you can cut an adult gel cap in half or take half the powder out of a capsule.    On to the list.

Bandages and Wound Dressing

We will all have our first aid kits. But sometimes those little bandages, gauze, etc. are not big enough to cover the wound, when we get a big cut with a knife, an ax, etc.. Bigger cuts will require larger bandages, etc. That’s why  bandages both large and small are equally important.   Remember, wide gauze and wider tape can always be cut into narrower strips if needed.


Burns can be very serious and lead to infection. There are Burn kits that can be purchased without a prescription that contain burn creams, topical antibiotics and specially designed bandages developed specifically for burns. These bandages are saturated with antibiotics and lidocaine for topical pain relief. You can also find some of these items on the shelf, but they can be hard to find and it seems that only the larger pharmacies carry a range of burn first-aid products. These links are the kinds of items you definitely want in your preps. Bringing a few Aloe Vera plants to your bug out location is not a bad idea either.

Oral and Dental

Here’s one we don’t think about as much as we should. A severe toothache or injury to our teeth can make life miserable. There are various things you can get to help with any dental problems you have, or you can purchase a dental medical kit with both instructions and some necessary tools and supplies.


We use disinfectants to clean surfaces, first aid instruments, and for cleaning hands etc. But they are also used to prevent bacterial growth and infection in cuts and wounds. There are really strong ones like iodine and bleach, but bleach is not meant to be used on open wounds or on your skin. Iodine will cause a bad sting if it gets in an open cut. Peroxide does not sting so bad but is also a strong disinfectant. We now know white vinegar is a great germ-killer and disinfectant, and can be used to treat skin or open wounds if no other antiseptics are available. 

  • Hydrogen peroxide click link for multitude of uses
  • White vinegar, salt and water click link for instructions
  • Bleach– Nonfood surface cleaning- ½ cup bleach to gallon of drinking water sanitation – 1/8 tsp to gallon of water food contact surfaces – 2 tsp bleach to gallon of water
  • Iodine– can be diluted and used as a wound wash. Can also be used to treat drinking water.
  • Iodine tablets are OTC to protect the thyroid gland in the event of a nuclear incident and radiation. Depending on location and where you are bugging out will determine the need for these.

Eye care    

If our eyes get irritated, scratched, etc., the response is usually pain or itch. Pain relief is critical in this situation. From an OTC an Eye wash kit    will have 4oz eye wash, eye cup and eye patch and tape which is a great start but I would also add 

Gastro-intestinal distress 

Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration and generally make us feel exhausted. While antacids can help with indigestion, more potent medicines can help to relieve vomiting and diarrhea. Remember that a change in diet can cause constipation too! Pick up generics of these for your preps….include Children’s version if you have kids. 

Orthopedic Relief

Now we all know that in the SHTF we will be making splints, crutches, etc. Some orthopedic support can be made with elastic wraps and a sling made from a pillow case or baby-diaper, but that’s up to you. But if you can add a few items to your preps to help with some of the aches and pains you may run across it would be much better. I have a few knee braces from past injuries, etc. so we threw them in the preps. 

Aches and pains

It’s about more than a headache. Many injuries, illnesses and conditions create varying levels of pain, and pain relief helps. Aspirin is the standard pain reliever, but Ibuprofen also has some benefits related to inflammation due to an injury. There are also topical pain relievers such as anesthetic sprays that can provide relief for minor burns and scrapes or conditions that cause itching. Muscle rubs are also great to have. 

Respiratory Issues 

Coughs and sinus congestion are typically the signs of a cold or virus, but could be caused by allergies. You can get the same OTC meds your family uses now.

Topical Antibiotics

Without access to the doctor or pharmacy, antibiotics will be impossible to get. First step is to prevent infection by using OTC, topical antibiotic on a clean wound and cover it up to keep it clean. Again the generics are fine but they must include the triple combination of Bacitracin, Neomycin, and Polymyxin B that are the most effective against bacteria on the skin. Even the generics have Pain Relief added and it is well worth looking for it.

I hope you find this information helpful and till next time, keep on prepping!  🙂

-The General-

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